Last night, Miami’s Sun Life Stadium hosted the biggest event in sports entertainment, Wrestlemania. It’s the Super Bowl for WWE, complete with all the bells and whistles. It was a stacked card, headlined by John Cena vs. The Rock, and it didn’t disappoint.
Wrestlemania Sunday kicked off early for me, with pre-party that started at noon. Everyone was decked out in wrestling gear, doing our best to act like we were 13 again (with the exception of a few adult beverages). The party is an essential piece of any true fan’s Wrestlemania Sunday. Like I said, it’s the Super Bowl, so you have to go all out; grilling, yard games, and of course a TV projector for the show.
The show started off in strange fashion, with Sheamus beating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds for the World Heavyweight Title. I did not like the call to make this match a “squash.” These two are great in the ring, and deserved more time in the spotlight. It’s clear that WWE is setting up a longer feud between these two, and the real pay off should be at the Extreme Rules PPV in Chicago on April 29th. One thing is for sure, Daniel Bryan was not saying, “YES!” last night.
It was clear that WWE decided to weigh the success of the entire show on 3 matches, Undertaker/Triple H, Punk/Jericho, and Rock/Cena. The other undercard matches, were alright. Orton/Kane was a decent match, with a couple good spots that ended with Kane choke slamming Orton off the top rope.
Big Show/Cody Rhodes, was a let down, but not really because I didn’t expect anything from this match anyway. At first I was surprised that Show won the Intercontinental Title, but then I remembered reading reports that Rhodes has been working injured. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him out of action for a month or two, and then making a run at the World Title this summer.
Undertaker/Triple H was a phenomenal bout from bell to bell. Anybody that questioned having Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee was proved to be wrong last night. Michaels absolutely added to this match, both physically and by helping to tell the story. There were an uncountable amount of brutal chairshots in this match, that left the Undertaker’s back visibly bruised. Taker came out on top as most expected, going 20-0 at Mania. The end having HBK and Taker carry out Triple H, was a truly awesome moment for three guys that have given everything to the business.
Punk/Jericho was the best technically wrestled match of the night. The match went back and forth, with several great spots, highlighted by Punk getting suplexed to the outside in what was a brutal bump. It also had several great submission moments, where it looked like Jericho might win, but it was not to be as Punk made Jericho tap out to the “Anaconda Vise.” It’s unclear if the feud will continue between these two, Jericho tweeted that he is “moving on,” but that seems unlikely after rumors last week that he signed a contract extension.
That brings us to Rock/Cena. This match had that big fight feel, albeit a scripted fight, but big none the less. The crowd was electric for this match to say the least. It went back and forth, with multiple spots where the match could have ended. Surprisingly, the Rock defeated Cena, after a Rock Bottom during Cena’s attempt to land a People’s Elbow. I don’t understand why the Rock won, the only logical conclusion, is that WWE is going to milk these two for a couple more matches. I could see them trying to make it into their version of Ali/Frazier, but who knows at this point.
Overall, I would give Wrestlemania 28, 5 stars. Was it the best one ever? Too early to say, but right now I’d have to say no. The undercard was disappointing, but the big matches all delivered.
So to the all important question, who stole the show? I will give that Undertaker/Triple H. They had the best pro wrestling match, but Rock/Cena was no doubt the biggest match I’ve ever watched live, so it’s tough to not give it to them. Regardless, all three big matches were epic, and they will solidify Wrestlemania 28′s spot near the top of the best ever list.